Travelle Wharton could go from late-summer acquisition to opening day starter for the Carolina Panthers.
Panthers coach Ron Rivera says last year's starting left guard Amini Silatolu ''more than likely'' will miss the Sept. 8 regular season opener with a hamstring injury, opening an opportunity for Wharton to step in and start at his old position.
The 32-year-old Wharton, who started 99 games for the Panthers from 2004-11, re-signed with his former team on Sunday after injuries left the offensive line depleted.
Wharton was greeted by his teammates' collective chant of ''Tra-Velle'' as he stepped on the football field Monday for the first time in more than a year.
Wharton says the practice went well and hopes to put last year's season-ending knee injury with Cincinnati behind him.
Online: AP NFL website www.pro32.ap.org